I have written my one month update, but will post it tomorrow instead, in light of this weeks Boston Marathon explosion….
I moved to New York about four and a half years ago from Boston. People always ask me which city I like better and I say that while I love the two for different reasons, Boston is where my heart is. My great grandparents came to this country close to 100 years ago after escaping the Armenian genocide. Boston provided them immense opportunity and a safe haven to establish fulfilling lives.
My immediate and extended family still live in various suburbs throughout the greater Boston area. I grew up in Andover, about 30 minutes north of the city. “Going into Boston”, as my mom would say with excitement, was special. It involved summer art class at the MFA, mother daughter shopping days at Filene’s Basement (the ORIGINAL!) and Newbury Street. It also meant getting dressed up to go to the Nutcracker at Christmas, the Pops, and plays. And special occasion gatherings for tea with my mom, sisters, grandmother, aunts and cousin. The city was a place for special occasions.
When I returned after college, I moved into an apartment in Brookline and Boston became my home. I worked in the Prudential Center and built my closest friendships there. My apartment was at mile 24 of the Boston Marathon and was the place that people gravitated to for the prime viewing location. We’d spend the morning making posters for friends and others we knew who were running the race while sipping on mimosas. Not only was it a day of celebration, community, and achievement, but there was a feeling of freedom in the air. With work cancelled, we had the day to play and feel like children. After the majority of runners had gone by, we’d walk down to the Fenway bars to continue the celebration with the rest of the Red Sox fans.
What makes me most upset this week is that the feeling of freedom on that day will be lost and replaced with fear now. The people of Boston are perseverant and inherently loyal and proud of their city, so there’s no doubt in my mind that this tradition will continue with comparable excitement as it has. It just won’t be the same.